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Smithfield Closes Sale of Schneider to Maple Leaf Foods

SMITHFIELD, Va., Apr 06, 2004 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) — Smithfield Foods,
Inc. (NYSE: SFD) today announced the closing of the sale of its wholly-owned
Canadian subsidiary, Schneider Corporation, to Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. (Toronto:
MFI) for approximately $378 million, subject to closing adjustments, including
the assumption of the company’s outstanding debt.

Smithfield will use the net proceeds to repay the bridge loan used to finance
the acquisition of Farmland Foods in October 2003.

With annualized sales of $9 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor
and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as
the largest producer of hogs. For more information, please visit

This news release may contain “forward-looking” information within the meaning
of the federal securities laws. The forward-looking information may include
statements concerning the company’s outlook for the future, as well as other
statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and
similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The
forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
expressed in, or implied by, the statements. These risks and uncertainties
include availability and prices of livestock, raw materials and supplies,
livestock costs, livestock disease, food safety, product pricing, the
competitive environment and related market conditions, ability to make and
successfully integrate acquisitions, operating efficiencies, access to capital,
the cost of compliance with environmental and health standards, adverse results
from ongoing litigation and actions and approvals of domestic and foreign

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For further information: Jerry Hostetter of Smithfield Foods, Inc.,
+1-212-758-2100, or jerryhostetter(at)

News release via Canada NewsWire, Toronto 416-863-9350

Copyright (C) 2004 CNW, All rights reserved

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.